Boat Shop News – The Point Comfort 23
By Jim Luton
After a year and nine months of construction, we actually have an end in sight for Canarsian, the club’s new launch and safety boat. A boat this size, even a simple one like our center-console Point Comfort 23, has what seems like an endless number of details to resolve and acres of surface area to sand, epoxy coat, sand, paint, and did I mention sand? The hull interior itself has 2 coats of epoxy, 2 coats of primer, and 3 coats of finish semi-gloss paint, all with sanding in between.
The interior layout and design has evolved even as we are building. We moved the fuel tank around a bit until we finally resolved some important issues relating to safe fuel handling, and ended up designing a nice helm seat to house the tank. That in itself was an exercise in ergonomics, as we mocked up in plywood and cardboard the full-scale relationships between driver and wheel, seat height and foot rest, and clearance between helm and seat for driving while standing up. We had to figure out how to route all the control cables and wiring from motor to helm and back, without structurally compromising any of the important framing members while maintaining a clean and visually neat installation. We had to provide ample seating for crew, stowage for ground tackle, and a dry but accessible location for the battery and electrical panel. And the list goes on, but we have resolved most of the knotty little issues that any significant boat presents.
Of course, an important component of any powerboat is the power itself. Ours is not a high-speed pleasure boat, but is large enough to require a good-sized motor that will drive the hull and its sometimes substantial load at planing speeds, with ample reserves of power for safety in rough conditions. We did some shopping around, looking at Honda and Evinrude, before choosing a Suzuki power plant, and a qualified shop to install the motor and controls. Howie Alfred and myself drove out to East Moriches a few weeks back, and were quite impressed with this small but highly qualified shop. The motor we chose is a Suzuki DF 60, with binnacle-mounted helm at the console, hydraulic steering, fuel/water separator, and appropriate gauges, all for the same price as the Honda with no accessories. And we have our choice of color as long as it is black or white (we chose white). We have a tentative delivery date in early April to have the motor installed, with the boat’s commissioning later that month.
There is still an awful lot to do, and still some logistical details to work out. Not least of which is finding a trailer to haul the 1500-pound boat and motor, and setting up a chain hoist to lift her up and onto a set of wheels to get her out of the shop. I’m sure we’ll figure it all out, as we have each time a problem has presented itself. With the finishing work still left to do, the motor installation, and commissioning, I’m sure we’ll be working non-stop until May or so, but it has a been a great project. The opportunity to build a significant boat in a small setting like ours doesn’t come along every day. We look forward to the day our handsome vessel will lay tied up to the dock. We’ll have a big event to celebrate the launch! See you then.
To see a complete record of the Point Comfort 23 project, check out the Wooden Boat Forum. We are at 7 pages, and 68,000 page views!
View the recent process with the pictures below (click for large views). Photos courtesy of Jim Luton.